GoodLife Fitness to offer no frills gyms

MISSISSAUGA  – GoodLife Fitness has announced plans to expand and rebrand its low cost fitness clubs called Fit4less that offer average membership fees of $10 per month.

“Our commitment is that GoodLife will always provide the best experience and value for Canadians and Fit4Less will always have the lowest price,” company founder and CEO, David  Patchell-Evans said in a press release.

The company wants to have 50 locations open by the end of 2014 – right now, there are 13 locations already operating.

“Fit4Less is a low cost but high value club,” says operations co-ordinator, Tessa Gentleman. “It allows it to be a more affordable option for Canadians who weren’t considering fitness before.”

To keep costs low, locations will cap staff members at ten, and will offer no personal training.  Only a handful of locations will have locker rooms, and none will offer group exercise classes.

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The idea combats the move into the market in the past two years by several high-end brands including American companies Equinox and Life Time. Those gyms offer full-service clubs, with varying membership fees, reportedly as high as more than $1,000 per year.

Kenneth Wong, a professor at Queen’s Business School says high-end brands won’t be affected by the entrance of a low-cost option into the market.

“I know of no market where one size fits all consumers,” Wong said. “Every market ends up fragmenting.”

He said the move by GoodLife to expand in the low cost industry is a smart one and compared the concept to automakers producing high- and low-end brands.

“Its Lexus and Toyota, its Acura and Honda, Infinite and Nissan,” he said.   “It has just taken this long for the market to evolve.”

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